Should I Do The Clarion Write-A-Thon This Year?

(NOTE: Based on time elapsed since the posting of this entry, the BS-o-meter calculates this is 6.03% likely to be something that Ferrett now regrets.)

As y’all know, the Clarion Write-A-Thon is coming up, when I write for six weeks to raise funds for the Clarion Writers’ Workshop – the inciting incident that turned me into a professional writer after twenty years of noodling.  Usually, I create a locked community, and then post my daily writing in that community (along with feedback on what did or didn’t work, i.e., an excerpt and then an analysis of the excerpt).
But this year is a little different, and I am weighing the pros and cons.
Pro: It raises a lot of funds.
I’m usually the #1 or #2 fundraiser.  Without me, they’re off a couple of thousand dollars.
Con: I’m in mourning, and this is more work. 
My goddaughter Rebecca has passed on at the age of six, and I am in deep grieving.  My energy levels are low.  I’ll also be spending more time at the Meyers, and though I love them, visiting them pretty much shreds my evening.  I usually have to get off work early, toss off quick writing, drive forty minutes cross-town, stay late, drive forty minutes back, and then work a ten-hour shift the next day and try to write after that.
Adding more work to that is troublesome.
Pro: I’ll get free feedback on the new novel I’m writing.
The sequel I’m currently writing to Flex is, well, a sequel, and it’ll be good having feedback from people who haven’t read it before.  People who don’t know the magic system or the characters need a new introduction, and I’m curious as to how this book’s start works when you’re starting from zero.
Con: I’ll also be giving huge spoilers
The beginning of Flux starts by exploring some of the ramifications of what happens at the end of Flex (which James Patrick Kelly, the award-winning writer who taught me plotting, told me he “didn’t see coming”), and I’m a little leery about giving it all away before the book’s even out.  Which I suppose is inevitable, but I don’t know if I want to start that soon.
Pro: It’ll encourage me to work on the novel when I am depressed over Rebecca.
Which is good for me, but….
Con: I probably will not finish the novel during the Clarion Write-A-Thon
…thereby cockblocking a few people.  And don’t tell me to hell with those people; they donated to get something good for themselves, and I do not want to disappoint them. Giving them part of an exciting novel is a little sad.  (Though I might finish, you never know.)
Pro: I’m a “bigger” writer this year, as people are generally more excited about novelists than short story writers, so I may raise more funds. 
Which is good.
Con: It may distract me when I need to be planning PR for Flex. 
Which is bad.
Con: I’m leaving the last week of The Write-A-Thon for a trip to Italy.
…but on the other hand, I managed to keep most of the Write-a-Thon up when I was in Hawaii last year on vacation, so who knows?
So I dunno.  If you’ve contributed to the Write-A-Thon in the past (or would think about doing so this year), what would make you feel appropriately rewarded for donating?  Aside from my gratitude, of course.  You’ll always have my gratitude, and so that’s, like, the baseline.  I want to know how to make this better, and to know whether I could do it in a way that would satisfy people.

1 Comment

  1. Mishell baker
    Jun 18, 2014

    I have nothing helpful to add, just wanted to inform you that I misread “baseline” as “vaseline,” and that is my favorite brain fart ever.
    When I donate to this kind of thing it’s never about getting some sort of reward, it’s about showing the author appreciation. I don’t know how common that is, but it’s worth taking into account in your calculations.

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